Nurse Practitioner Week Spotlight: Allyson Adduno and Debra Bishop

NPs - Allyson and Debra
Allyson Adduno and Debra Bishop, Nurse Practitioners at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Each day during Nurse Practitioner Week (November 13-19), we are spotlighting Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to highlight some (but not all!) of the important roles they fulfill at our Hospital and in our community. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Allyson Adduno and Debra Bishop.

Meet Allyson Adduno

Education /Training

Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing from Lakehead University; Master of Nursing and Nurse Practitioner – Adult Program from University of Toronto.  Certified diabetes educator current.

Why did you decide to become a Nurse Practitioner?

A nurse practitioner (NP) is able to make a significant impact in a patient’s life by diagnosing illnesses, teaching about healthy living and prevention of disease to individuals and their families, preventing diseases and managing illness.  A unique characteristic of an NP is the ability to use the vast nursing background and combine with the art of medicine.

Tell us about your role at the Centre for Complex Diabetes Care.

The Centre for Complex Diabetes Care is multidisciplinary team that works with patient’s who have diabetes with complex medical backgrounds.  My role is to assess, diagnose, manage and treat diabetes along with other chronic diseases while working to prevent the development or worsening diabetes related complications.  My goal is to work with the patient and their family to improve their quality of life and optimize their diabetes management.

What is the most challenging part of your profession?

The most challenging and frustrating part of my role is late diagnosis of diabetes.  Often times when a patient attends our program, they have unfortunately suffered a cardiovascular event or have at least one complication of diabetes.  Cultural beliefs, personal control, socio-economic status, mental health and low health literacy influences diabetes self-management in adults with type 2 diabetes that adds to the challenges in my role.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your profession?

The most rewarding aspect of my role is having the opportunity to prevent complications related to diabetes and having the opportunity to improve of quality of life for patients living with diabetes. The other rewarding aspect of my profession is being able to provide education for diabetes management to my peers within Thunder Bay and our region.

Do you have any advice for those considering a career as a Nurse Practitioner?

If you want a profession that provides daily challenges, constant evolution, opportunities to learn everyday and to be the change agent in the health of patient’s and their families become an NP. “If it doesn’t challenge you it will not change you”.


Meet Debra Bishop

Education /Training

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Intensive Care Course

Why did you decide to become a Nurse Practitioner?

Early on in my nursing career, I discovered my passion for Women’s Health, particularly during the prenatal and post natal period, as well as newborns. As a Registered Nurse working 15 years mainly in the NICU, the Labor and Delivery and Maternal Child units I wanted to make a difference in the lives of the pregnant person before they delivered. Many have limited or no access to prenatal care. Providing access to early prenatal care as a profound impact on both the pregnant client, babe and families overall health.

Tell us about your role with at the Maternity Centre.

I work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team which include Obstetricians, Family physicians and Allied health care professionals including social work, dietitian, exercise therapist, lactation consults. My role as a Nurse Practitioner at the Maternity Centre involves providing early access to prenatal care, postpartum care and newborns to 8 weeks of age. Many of my clients are struggling to meet the basic determinates of health, with early access to care their stories can be re-written with improved outcomes for both themselves and their families. Clients can self refer to myself and our allied health care team which removes barriers and improves access to care. In addition to providing prenatal/postnatal and newborn care I am able to work within my full scope of practices and provide primary health care that may include concerns around mental health, addiction and other complex medical needs.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your profession?

It is very rewarding to follow a pregnant person through their pregnancy journey from onset to 35 weeks (at which point OBGY/Family MD’s will take over) and then care for their new born baby(s). Pregnancy is a time of excitement and is filled with many questions/doubts and concerns. It is very rewarding to be able to help women and families through these moments. The ability to meet the pregnant patient where they are at, whether it be a 5 minutes or 60 minutes of my time is very important. For many clients early access and support means positive lifestyle changes that help to ensure a healthy pregnancy outcomes with positive lifelong changes.

Do you have any advice for those considering a career as a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse Practitioners are an integral part of the health team. As an NP you have the autonomy and the education to assess/diagnose and treat clients, with the added benefit of being able to spend as much time with a client as needed. We have the privilege of being able to help clients with their complex social and medical needs. Each day is a new day, and no one day is the same. My advice for those considering becoming a NP is this: it is a privilege to be able to help people achieve better physical, mental and social health and I feel honoured every day to part of a client and their family’s journey.